Birmingham chef celebrates success

A Birmingham chef has beaten off competition from across the UK to be declared the Chef of the Year after a gruelling challenge which even tested competitors’ butchery skills.

The final of the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year, sponsored by Aubrey Allen in conjunction with Eblex and Moët & Chandon, was held at the live kitchen at Hotelympia, Excel, this week.

Chefs had to cook a three-course menu in two hours to include English Beef, with Dick Van Leeuwen of Eblex judging the butchery skills.

Ten competitors battled it out for the prestigious title of Chef of the Year and the top prize of £2,500, but it was Matthew Cheal of Simpsons, Birmingham, who impressed the formidable panel of judges.

The judges, headed by Idris Caldora, MOGB of the Academy of Culinary Arts, also included Pierre Koffmann, Kevin Viner of Viner’s Restaurant Newquay , Glynn Purnell of Purnell’s Restaurant Birmingham and Nick Vadis, executive head chef of Compass group. In second and third places were Kevin Sutherland of Baxter Storey, London and Stephanie Moon, Leeds City College.

The other finalists included:
David Kennedy, Black Door Group, Newcastle upon Tyne
Dez Turland, Royal Duchy Hotel, Cornwall
Dean Crews, Finesse Hotels, Derby
Chris Godfrey, The Kingham Plough, Kingham
Roland Graham, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast
Matthew Warburton, Mint Restaurant, Lichfield
Paul Foster, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

Pierre Koffmann said: “They should all feel proud to have competed at such a level and it is a credit to them that they had the courage and confidence to enter the challenge.”


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